Posted by: Lisa | September 7, 2011

Follow Your Bliss

Okay, this is really weird – and this has happened to me several times recently:  I’ve written blog posts about topics that are important to me, and then shortly afterward, found nearly the same thing written in books/articles.

The most recent incident involves a book that John has been reading called The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers (1988) – and my blog post titled, Meaningful Education.

Campbell talks about how people should “follow their bliss” – which means they should do what they love, what brings them great joy and happiness.  He says:

“. . . if you’re talking on about the things that students ought to be reading, and suddenly you hit on something that the student really responds to, you can see the eyes open and the complexion change. The life possibility has opened there. All you can say to yourself is, ‘I hope this child hangs on to that.'”

“. . . I used to talk to the boys who were trying to make up their minds as to what their careers were going to be. A boy would come to me and ask, ‘Do you think I can do this?. .  Do you think I can be a writer?’. . .  Then Dad would come along and say, ‘No, you ought to study law because there is more money in that, you know.’. . .  Are you going to think of fortune, or are you going to think of your bliss?”

“. . . if you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”  (pp. 118-120)

It seems almost eerie, but I guess I’m following my bliss!  It’s kinda fun; it makes life feel like an adventure.

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Responses

  1. […] Follow Your Bliss (soaringwithgod.com) […]

  2. I am not sure where you are getting your information, but good topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.
    Thanks for wonderful info I was looking for this info for my mission.

  3. Hi Lisa, I was just wondering how ‘following your bliss’ went and how it felt like an adventure. Could you explain how you followed it and what happened? Did things show up when you needed them to? Just interested on whether you did feel like you were on a track and what things you got involved in as a result. Would you mind sharing your story some more? Either in an email or as a new blog post?

    • Hi CF! Well, basically my whole life just flows wherever it flows. I got a BA degree in Anthropology because that really interested me. It fit nicely with my work as a fitness instructor which eventually led me to Yoga. The Yoga reminded me (at first) of the ballet classes I used to take as a child. Recently, I’ve given up teaching aerobics to focus exclusively on Yoga because that seems to be my “gift” – at this point. I’m teaching a 2-credit Yoga course at a university now, too, which ties back into the BA degree I got so many years ago (but have never directly used until now). You can see how much trust is a factor in all of this. I never set out to do any of this. It all just fell in line. One fascinating part of all this is: in high school, I took a vocational test that identified my possible careers as (1) science, (2) communication, (3) fine arts. At the time, I thought that was ridiculous because those three fields are completely unrelated. But I now see that my work as a Yoga teacher uses all three of those strengths of mine. So I have used my strengths without consciously trying to use them.

      • That’s cool. I am just in phase at the moment where I have done a degree, which I kind of enjoyed, and i’m in a job now which isn’t too bad, and I can see the links between them, and I had a major life change 4 years ago, moving to a new area and now i’m kind of thinking ‘well I could do this or could do that’ and a bit unsure really what to do. There are several different things I could try, some more risky then others I guess, and haven’t decided, though I feel like I really want to decide. Do you ever feel hidden hands helping you on your journey or have you ever decided to follow a path and not know if it works out only to get some help or support on the way? I sometimes think about doing something and I have no idea how I could support myself so don’t always take the risks.

      • What I find is that if something is “meant to be,” then the doors open for me as I begin to take steps in that direction. If something I’m considering is not meant to be for me, then I keep running into all kinds of problems when trying to move in that direction. Recently, I thought I was being “called” to become a spiritual director. After considering several training programs, I chose the one that seemed like the best match for me (program, cost, location, etc.) and then submitted the application – which was a 20 page autobiography. Well, I got a rejection letter from the woman who runs the program. I was shocked and hurt. However, now I can clearly see that I don’t belong in that program. I still think I might be called to train as a spiritual director – but not in that program, and maybe not right now. Maybe in a year or two. That’s kinda how this “follow your bliss” stuff works in my experience. 🙂

        Regarding “risky” things, you might see if you can experiment with the “risky” stuff on the side while you stay employed doing what you’re doing. If everything goes well, then you can make a switch.


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